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XenoFish

Pointlessness of Religion

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Likely Guy

Just because morality happens to be wrapped into a religious package doesn't make it exclusively a religious thing.

Truer words have never been spoken. Morality and ethics must be part of the general human condition, or we wouldn't have lasted this long. Organized religion came later.

Edit: Much, much later.

Edited by Likely Guy
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Likely Guy

To the OP, Xenofish,

I'm glad that you're exploring your new found freedom as an apatheist.

As long as you do good, and are good, who cares?

Edited by Likely Guy
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Sherapy

Sherapy, I just want to say I'm sorry for your loss. I wish you and yours didn't have to go through that.

Thank you for your kind words.

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Sherapy

Oh, very sorry to hear that... which of course doesn't change anything.

Yeah, life is what it is, after that it's what you can make from it. At other times though a moment in your life can be so glorious and fulfilling that it helps smooth over life's potholes. I guess that's why we all still hang around. I for one am extremely fascinated as to what my life's next chapter will bring. For bad or good.

:(:) <------ Tragedy or Comedy?

Thank you for your kind words.

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Mr Walker

I went through the stages of grief, appropriate for one who had a family member murdered, your perspective has no value to me as it is not based in an understanding of grief, or of the families of murder victims. You hold no authority because a funeral director is not the equivalent of a trained psychologist which is who my family and I went to for expertise and coping skills. Your advice is not only harmful, but it lacks compassion and empathy for this type of situation. I am not interested in continuing this dialogue with you. All the best.

Actually I have an excellent theoretical and practical understanding of grief; having psychology as a uni major, having been professionally trained in grief counselling, having been a counsellor for nearly a decade, and having experienced tragedy in my own life. My point is not that you should not grieve but that YOU (any individual) should consciously chose the level of grief appropriate for you, not just allow your emotions to dominate your mind . Grief is no different to anger, and indeed anger is a a part of the grief cycle. It is not acceptable to simply give into feelings of anger so that they debilitate you and cause you to act irrationally, and nor should it be so for grief. Grief is a natural part of the healing process but if it is not healing a person then it isn't useful.

I am sorry these views hurt, but they hurt BECAUSE you haven't been offered an alternate way of dealing with grief. and think that one HAS to suffer after a tragedy True compassion does not mean only going along with people and supporting their grief, but trying to help them despite their reluctance to be helped.

You have learned to feel/express grief in certain way. My point is that there are MANY other ways of dealing psychologically with a personal tragedy. If you want to feel pain and suffering, anger or guilt, and think that is productive and necessary then fine. Just understand that it is not necessary, or a requirement of grief and loss for others to do so.

Edited by Mr Walker

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Mr Walker

Truer words have never been spoken. Morality and ethics must be part of the general human condition, or we wouldn't have lasted this long. Organized religion came later.

Edit: Much, much later.

How do you know this? All the anthropological evidence we have indicates that religious belief evolved as soon as humans developed a certain level of self aware consciousness. That same level is needed for the development of conscious ethics and moralities so the two likely evolved together. To put it another way. Until primates developed the capacity for religious thought, they were not humans. Likewise with conscious philosophically based ethics and moralities.

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DieChecker

I'd be impressed.

I consider religion to be pointless, I've already stated that if it works for someone else so be it. What I have a problem with is people using religion as a crutch and as a weapon. You seem to have a habit of taking things out of context and molding them to your beliefs. I've know religious and non-religious people who are the best kind of people. I've also know people that are complete and total jerks with and without religion. Which is why I consider myself an apathiest, I'm indifferent towards religion in general. I have a problem when people justify an evil deed by claiming it was gods will or using their religious book as an excuse. Christians aren't burning witches any more. Muslims are killing not only themselves but others because of their faith. This doesn't encompass the whole of them. Same with any religion. You've got some good apple in with the bad. So good athiest and some bad ones.

Just because morality happens to be wrapped into a religious package doesn't make it exclusively a religious thing.

It sounds to me like what you have there isn't a religion problem, but a Human problem. You've said that religion seems to work for some, and there are good religious people that you know. And that you know A-holes who are religious and some who are not religious. Then are negative human activities actually religious in origin, or is the nature of your disbelief in God just that you think people are fooling themselves. Because fooling yourself is harmless, but if religion is creating negative actions it should be addressed. From what you just posted it would seem you're saying the latter and not the former. That people are just being stupid and fooling themselves and you don't agree with it.

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DieChecker

Truer words have never been spoken. Morality and ethics must be part of the general human condition, or we wouldn't have lasted this long. Organized religion came later.

Edit: Much, much later.

I very much disagree. Look at the ancient Greek epics. The height of their behaviors, as written about their heros and gods includes rapes, murders, theft. Just look at the Labors of Heracles. Look at the Odyssey. These would be brutal people without mercy or love of their fellow man, when compared to todays ethics. The same can be seen in the Mesopotamian epics and accounts. And in the histories of the Ancient Egyptians. Murders, rapes, slavery, war... All very common and initiated at the drop of a hat.

Look even at the Middle Ages. Brutality, war, slavery, torture, Crusades/Jihads.... Again, seemingly at the drop of a hat.

No. I'd say that ethics and morality has progressed as human law has progressed. It is not intrinsic to our DNA or some such.

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XenoFish

I do have a problem with people using anything to justify horrendous acts. Not just religious but political as well. I'm very much a humanitarian. I care about people. It seems that there are people still stuck in the middle ages. Maybe when humanity is on the endangered species list, we might change our ways.

Edited by XenoFish
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Sherapy

Actually I have an excellent theoretical and practical understanding of grief; having psychology as a uni major, having been professionally trained in grief counselling, having been a counsellor for nearly a decade, and having experienced tragedy in my own life. My point is not that you should not grieve but that YOU (any individual) should consciously chose the level of grief appropriate for you, not just allow your emotions to dominate your mind . Grief is no different to anger, and indeed anger is a a part of the grief cycle. It is not acceptable to simply give into feelings of anger so that they debilitate you and cause you to act irrationally, and nor should it be so for grief. Grief is a natural part of the healing process but if it is not healing a person then it isn't useful.

I am sorry these views hurt, but they hurt BECAUSE you haven't been offered an alternate way of dealing with grief. and think that one HAS to suffer after a tragedy True compassion does not mean only going along with people and supporting their grief, but trying to help them despite their reluctance to be helped.

You have learned to feel/express grief in certain way. My point is that there are MANY other ways of dealing psychologically with a personal tragedy. If you want to feel pain and suffering, anger or guilt, and think that is productive and necessary then fine. Just understand that it is not necessary, or a requirement of grief and loss for others to do so.

Ha ha ha ha ha this post your a Psychologist! Seriously, Your advice is not based on facts, grief is a natural process it just happens, what changes is the intensity and this has to do with the circumstances surrounding the death, some are harder to get through then others, how close the relationship was matters too.

Your first point, true compassion and grieving, you said true compassion is not going along with grief and offering support, the experts say "Listen – Instead of trying to offer "helpful" comments that run the risk of minimizing the grieving person's experience, you can offer genuine assistance by simply being present and listening to what the grieving person has to say. Many grievers simply need someone to be there to listen to them and allow them to vent their overwhelming emotions. They are likely to need to be heard and witnessed, rather than to have someone try to make them feel better." In otherwords, The best support is in the form of listening, or just allowing the process to unfold. My dad is a case in point on this, he likes to talk about my Mom and I just listen, I resepct that he is in the process of grieving and it takes what it takes and I will listen as long as it's needed, I do not offer advice, I offer respect and support. My experience is people Let you know what is helpful to them.

http://www.amhc.org/58-grief-bereavement-issues/article/8450-helping-other-adults-cope-with-grief

A second point you are making is that grief is not natural, again you are in error and the experts say this,

http://www.amhc.org/58-grief-bereavement-issues/article/8442-grief-is-a-normal-and-natural-process

" It is not easy to let go of close relationships that have existed in our lives. Dealing with the emotions that occur in the grieving process takes much time and energy, and is usually both physically and emotionally demanding. It is normal for people to grieve in very different ways. Some people grieve openly, while others hide their feelings of distress. Some people grieve quickly, while others take a long time to "finish." There is no "right way" to grieve. Each individual comes up with a method of grieving that fits them and their particular loss." In otherwords, grieving is natural and some move throught it faster then others for a lot of reasons.

Edited by Sherapy
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DieChecker

I do have a problem with people using anything to justify horrendous acts. Not just religious but political as well. I'm very much a humanitarian. I care about people. It seems that there are people still stuck in the middle ages. Maybe when humanity is on the endangered species list, we might change our ways.

Yes, a lot of people stuck in the Middle Ages, and not all due to religion. Though I suspect that religion appeals to that type of person as a justification, but those people would be horrible people regardless of if they were religious or not. :tu:

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Mr Walker

Ha ha ha ha ha this post your a Psychologist! Seriously, Your advice is not based on facts, grief is a natural process it just happens, what changes is the intensity and this has to do with the circumstances surrounding the death, some are harder to get through then others, how close the relationship was matters too.

Your first point, true compassion and grieving, you said true compassion is not going along with grief and offering support, the experts say "Listen – Instead of trying to offer "helpful" comments that run the risk of minimizing the grieving person's experience, you can offer genuine assistance by simply being present and listening to what the grieving person has to say. Many grievers simply need someone to be there to listen to them and allow them to vent their overwhelming emotions. They are likely to need to be heard and witnessed, rather than to have someone try to make them feel better." In otherwords, The best support is in the form of listening, or just allowing the process to unfold. My dad is a case in point on this, he likes to talk about my Mom and I just listen, I resepct that he is in the process of grieving and it takes what it takes and I will listen as long as it's needed, I do not offer advice, I offer respect and support. My experience is people Let you know what is helpful to them.

http://www.amhc.org/...cope-with-grief

A second point you are making is that grief is not natural, again you are in error and the experts say this,

http://www.amhc.org/...natural-process

" It is not easy to let go of close relationships that have existed in our lives. Dealing with the emotions that occur in the grieving process takes much time and energy, and is usually both physically and emotionally demanding. It is normal for people to grieve in very different ways. Some people grieve openly, while others hide their feelings of distress. Some people grieve quickly, while others take a long time to "finish." There is no "right way" to grieve. Each individual comes up with a method of grieving that fits them and their particular loss." In otherwords, grieving is natural and some move throught it faster then others for a lot of reasons.

You are misunderstanding what i am saying Grief is part natural and part learned, but the way we feel and express grief as humans is almost entirely learned. It comes because we understand things/concepts like the finality of death and can understand that others are like ourselves. Historical and modern cultural analysis show us that humans feel and use a huge range of expressions of grief, from joy and celebration at a persons passing, through stoicism, to the tearing out of hair and shredding of clothing accompanied by hysterical( or cultural specific) ululations and screaming My point remains this. Instead of grieving how your culture taught you to grieve, a human being can chose any form of grief they wish to and control their emotional responses and keep them positive. If they do not then grief can destroy individuals and families and perpetuate a cycle of tragedy. Especially where vengeance, pride, honour etc., also form a part of the social fabric.

Listening is fine. Doing something practical like the washing, or cooking, or looking after the kids is even better, Knowing when to urge a person to get professional help and ensuring that they do is also critical.

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Sherapy

You are misunderstanding what i am saying Grief is part natural and part learned, but the way we feel and express grief as humans is almost entirely learned. It comes because we understand things/concepts like the finality of death and can understand that others are like ourselves. Historical and modern cultural analysis show us that humans feel and use a huge range of exp<b></b>ressions of grief, from joy and celebration at a persons passing, through stoicism, to the tearing out of hair and shredding of clothing accompanied by hysterical( or cultural specific) ululations and screaming My point remains this. Instead of grieving how your culture taught you to grieve, a human being can chose any form of grief they wish to and control their emotional responses and keep them positive. If they do not then grief can destroy individuals and families and perpetuate a cycle of tragedy. Especially where vengeance, pride, honour etc., also form a part of the social fabric.

Listening is fine. Doing something practical like the washing, or cooking, or looking after the kids is even better, Knowing when to urge a person to get professional help and ensuring that they do is also critical.

No, it is you who came to the discussion in misunderstanding. I provided the links and counter to help you get a better understanding of grief and it's a plus you read the links, summarized them in your post, and now have a better understanding of grief. It's a win win for us both.

Edited by Sherapy
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Stubbly_Dooright

My original point was that everything we do has a consequence Nothing is ever in vain nor useless. Doing something ALWAYS produces a different effect and a different future than doing noting. The expenditure of energy ALWAYS alters the conditions existing before the expenditure of energy. It can change the direction an thus outcomes of something It can produce something or begin something moving. If you understand these laws then you understand the consequences not just of physics, but of human behaviour. Life is complex and our actions do not always produce the result we hope for but they do make a difference

What ever the results are, if they are not the desired result, or worse results that makes a situation worse, then it's still in vain.
Dealing witht emotions is a part of tife. Emotions are intellectual constructs. not biological responses in human beings. We can choose and learn how to respond to events in life (as children we learn from others how to respond emotionally and we can change this response by relearning other ones).

"You" (any human being) do not HAVE to feel so sad you are dysfunctional, for example. if you lose a very close loved one You can chose not to feel anger or sadness at all, or you can chose to feel appropriately sad as a part of grieving, but put the rest of your energy into more productive/constructive actions.

Well one, sad, like any emotion, is something that comes by experience. No control over it. I chose to work through sadness, but I cannot chose to not be sad. That's impossible.
by Sheri:

snapback.pngMr Walker, on 10 April 2015 - 09:21 PM, said:

That is an entirely separate issue from that which I was making, albeit one we have discussed before.

On your point how you chose to respond to a tragedy will define the results of that tragedy for you. Tragedy does not HAVE to have negative effects, unless you chose to view it in a certain way. We know from cultural history that humans are capable of responding in widely diverse ways, to individual and social tragedy. (death, disaster, hardship etc.)

If you want to go through pain grief anger and other negative emotions then it is your prerogative to do so. I feel that is wasteful, harmful, and often counter productive. The energy consumed could be better used in doing something productive like setting up a fund or a memorial or just talking to people about a loved one's life . No one HAS to suffer the depth of pain or suffering which many take upon themselves and I don't think it is "coping" in a negative sense(or copping out from reality) to chose happiness after a death or tragedy.

I have worked with a funeral director and have taken many funeral services, delivering many eulogies. Humans respond in very diverse ways to death and tragedy. This illustrates that we can choose our responses. It is not some universal, or even local, cultural response programmed into us.

Life does not dictate terms to us. We dictate terms to life, and we do so because we can.

I went through the stages of grief, appropriate for one who had a family member murdered, your perspective has no value to me as it is not based in an understanding of grief, or of the families of murder victims. You hold no authority because a funeral director is not the equivalent of a trained psychologist which is who my family and I went to for expertise and coping skills. Your advice is not only harmful, but it lacks compassion and empathy for this type of situation. I am not interested in continuing this dialogue with you. All the best.

Sheri's right, a funeral director does not have the educational training to be a psychologist. I think there is a line that was crossed dangerously when you do that. In fact, in my grief, I personal had to work through it, or it would have torn me a part. I talk of my experience to help those here who have gone through it, ( :wub: to Sheri (((HUGS)) ) that it's what you have to do before it hurts you in the end.

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Stubbly_Dooright

It sounds to me like what you have there isn't a religion problem, but a Human problem. You've said that religion seems to work for some, and there are good religious people that you know. And that you know A-holes who are religious and some who are not religious. Then are negative human activities actually religious in origin, or is the nature of your disbelief in God just that you think people are fooling themselves. Because fooling yourself is harmless, but if religion is creating negative actions it should be addressed. From what you just posted it would seem you're saying the latter and not the former. That people are just being stupid and fooling themselves and you don't agree with it.

Hi there, DieChecker. :st I do see XenoFish's point, but I like what you wrote here. I often see this myself. But I must emphasize, that I think this for myself, based on my own experiences. I think it's all in the way of how we do handle things yes, like I think you are seeing it, so I do see the human side of this.

I often feel how does it all go hand in hand, with the religious, and with those expressing the human condition. I see one side of it, to get XenoFish's point, and then I see the other side, so I see what you are saying. Is there really a one answer to this? *shrugs*

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Leonardo

Since the golden rule is what everyone thinks is best for themselves and others, it is the golden rule of idealisms, which are only one step away from religion.

And what is an ideal or a religion if not some majority having its way?

So the golden rule shaped by whatever is really the ideals passed on by the majority.

So then we may have to accept that the majority are right, just like the people did under Hitler.

It seems this discussion into "the Golden Rule" completely ignores that people can actually communicate with each other to find out what each finds "good" for themselves. The way the post above argues, for example, appears to suggest that simple communication is beyond anyone. Ridiculous.

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Starhunter

It seems this discussion into "the Golden Rule" completely ignores that people can actually communicate with each other to find out what each finds "good" for themselves. The way the post above argues, for example, appears to suggest that simple communication is beyond anyone. Ridiculous.

Does it really appear to suggest that? What is influence in a society if not communication?

If a nation is influenced, it has been communicating in every natural way hasn't it?

Is it just words being exchanged? Or can fashion be as powerful? To which class of Germans was this ideal the most appealing?

Why was the movement so powerful that politicians in countries as far as Australia were beginning to adopt Nazi ideals, and quickly hid their views when it was obviously turning to be a deadly enemy?

Did everyone communicate the same thing? Absolutely not. There was a minority who saw it coming long before it was established and fled the country. Did many of those aware try to communicate? Yes, and what was thought of their reaction?

"Paranoid and unsympathetic to the needs of the nation."

It was communicated all right, and remember people in those days depended on gossip for information, and when together they actually communicated by speaking to each other, rather than sat bent over a 2 inch screen.

What you could be suggesting is that if people communicate they can't be conned...

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Leonardo

Does it really appear to suggest that?

Yes. You wrote about the Golden Rule being a situation where "everyone thinks what is best for themselves and for others" - i.e. "idealism" which is an individual concept, not one arrived at by consensus which would suggest some form of compromise. This implies individuals thinking about their own self-interest, and then applying that to others without thought of asking whether their interests actually coincide.

Similarly, your comment about how the 'majority' impose their "Golden Rule" is just an extension of that, treating "the majority" as a single entity without any difference in the individuals comprising the group.

It is simplistic and wrong.

Edited by Leonardo

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Tiggs

I would agree that today we probably don't need religion to pass down ethics. But, I don't think this is due to humans being intrinsically ethical. I think that is a myth, or more properly a lie. We no longer need religion to pass down ethics due to the nature of our modern world, but those ethics DID come down to us from 5000 years of religion. Religion was the social granary that moved ethics from generation to generation with only small changes over hundreds of years. Kind of like being domesticated to specific behaviors.

Well. Nothing says "Obey" like the direct word of God.

Everything that follows is just my opinion of how the world works. Your mileage may vary.

With regards to ethics, I believe that there are two contradicting worldviews to choose from.

In the first worldview, you can say that we're good because God handed us down an ethical code to obey - and God is good. In the second worldview, you can say that we created Gods to enforce obedience to our varying ethical codes, and Darwinism picked which God(s) won.

I agree that, over time, those codes have slowly changed. Some religions were specifically designed to allow those codes to be updated slowly over time.

After all - why would you have a written Torah, and an oral Torah - if not to be able to adjust the rules a little, occasionally?

Without that ability to tweak written law via oral law - those laws stagnate. We still have a form of it today, with the words of Religious leaders. Catholicism, for example, has the Pope's encyclicals - which gives it the opportunity to attempt to modernise with the times.

A smaller ship is more agile than a larger one. In ship terms, the older a religion is, the larger it is. The largest religions are like super-tankers, where course changes are much slower, and much more difficult to achieve.

And again - there are two conflicting worldviews to choose from.

In the first worldview, we see that what we have done in the past has kept us alive. We are loathe to change the way that we behave, in case there are disastrous consequences for doing so. In the second worldview, we see injustice in the way that the rules are currently written, and we want to change them now, and not in the sort of timescale that it will take religion to get there by itself.

It's the pull of the past vs. the future. The known vs. the unknown. Conservatism vs. Liberalism.

I'd note that the stories that come down to us from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, Ancient Greece, don't really show people following a Golden Rule, but more of a "Do what God Says", kind of rule. People who started wars and wiped out entire cities were HEROS. Can we conclude the "basic human empathy" has evolved over time? I think we have to.

Most Heroic stories tell the same tale.

They start with a world that is normal to our hero. Then, our hero is called to an adventure, which he at first refuses. He may find the help of a wise man to aid him. There is an inciting incident, that sets our hero on his journey. He will have many adventures, and make friends and enemies along the way. Then, he will make his way into the lair of the great evil. He will encounter a moment of darkness, when all seems lost. From there, he will eventually emerge victorious. Finally, he will return to his world, armed with the wisdom and rewards he gained from his journey.

It's the story of the struggle to overcome adversity, a struggle echoed throughout all human experience. Sometimes, we cast the hero within those stories as somehow special - chosen ones - to amplify their importance - but the basic framework remains the same, whether you're talking about Odysseus, Moses, various Hobbits, Neo, Simba or a young farm boy from Tatooine.

Even Jesus.

It's because we can identify with their story - because we, too, have faced and overcome adversity - that they resonate so deeply within us. By the strength of repetition, they make us believe that there will always be an ultimate light at the end of the tunnel, even in our darkest hour.

They reaffirm our experience. They uplift us. They give us hope.

Basic human empathy - the ability to put yourself into someone else's shoes and imagine how they feel - is hardwired into us.

Put two humans in the same room to talk about something that they both agree on - and within a few minutes, their breathing will have synchronised. Their speech patterns will have synchronised. Even their hearts will beat at the same speed.

We mirror each other, at a physiological level.

If we think that the evil things want to kill us, then we want to kill the evil things. We reflect back whatever's projected at us. When people are nice to us, we are nice to them. When they're not so nice, neither are we.

We want to do unto others what they want to do unto us. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Surprisingly - that gives the same result as the Golden Rule - providing that everyone's playing nice.

The Golden Rule goes that one step further, and instructs us to override our natural instincts to reflect other people's bad behaviour and, instead, to be nice - to turn the other cheek - in the hope that they, too, will then reflect our compassion back at us.

Heroes, on the other hand, live by slightly different rules. They're on a mission to slay the dragon - and it's hard to do that, if you're supposed to be nice to dragons.

Heroes justify their actions by the evil that they face.

They show us that the Golden Rule has its limits; that persistent evil must eventually be stood up to and confronted, if it is ever to be overcome.

Because, sometimes, turning that other cheek just isn't going to work.

I'd again agree that ethics don't need religion to be taught, but those ethics did come from religion. And the future of ethics still isn't set, without religion to be the granary and move it forward. Some might argue that the Internet could teach ethics, but I'd point out that all the most narcissistic people on Earth function basically only through the internet, and are the primary role models for today's Youth. Do we really want everyone acting just like Beiber or the Kardashians?

I think that parents and grandparents are a child's real role models. Biebs and co. are the rebellious idols looked to in late childhood and early adulthood, just like the Rolling Stones were, in their day. An anti-pattern; a path to otherness and independence, but generally discarded as reliable role models for day-to-day life, soon after.

And, sure - compared to the way that my parents raised me - I think Biebs and co. are fairly terrible examples of what people should do.

But then - I'm getting old. I sometimes think that it's the burden of each generation to think that the next generation are complete tearaways.

You've probably seen this before:

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

Aristophanes wrote that, long before Christ was born.

It's not quite - "Get off my lawn, you young whippersnappers" - but it's pretty close.

Edited by Tiggs
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Starhunter

Yes. You wrote about the Golden Rule being a situation where "everyone thinks what is best for themselves and for others" - i.e. "idealism" which is an individual concept, not one arrived at by consensus which would suggest some form of compromise. This implies individuals thinking about their own self-interest, and then applying that to others without thought of asking whether their interests actually coincide.

Similarly, your comment about how the 'majority' impose their "Golden Rule" is just an extension of that, treating "the majority" as a single entity without any difference in the individuals comprising the group.

It is simplistic and wrong.

I think at some point people are tarred with the same brush, despite their differences.

Almost all established/organized religions are a product of the basic mentality - which is to be saved of something.

So while some people like to think that they are free of religion they are inevitably establishing another one. They are trying to save themselves from whatever.

Religions are generally an alternative to individual accountability and relation to God, where the religion becomes the idol which is adhered to. That immediate compromise of the relation to God creates a codependent need which forms the bag for common ideals, which of course are developed over time. Hence tradition is a big part of religions. "Why do we do it ? - we don't know, this is what our ancestors did."

And people prefer to be able to pay for their mistakes, even if only by a simple contribution or participation in a rite.

Religion and political ideals have one common goal, to get rid of or control whatever they think is the problem.

They will even invent and promote a problem that they can seemingly control, rather than admit that there are some problems with humanity which they cannot fix. The bottom line is humanism "We don't need God except as a name on the money."

And by the way, the worst deception is not a godless ideal, but one that incorporates the worship of God, while in fact undermining the relation.

So when someone talks about the pointlessness of religion they are saying that organized humanism is pointless, yet they could be just as humanistic as an individual, with different ideals.

So if we have a world which is communicating their individuality, all we need is a common enemy, something which for example strikes the bread line, and sooner than we think, we have an established and organized body to deal with 'the problem.'

So can we be conned or forced into a global or national ideal that takes care of our basic needs? Or has that already taken place, and we think we are free because we have mobiles?

Edited by Starhunter

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DieChecker

Basic human empathy - the ability to put yourself into someone else's shoes and imagine how they feel - is hardwired into us.

Not to disrespect the rest of your post, but I only wanted to make two additional points.

If you had a time machine and went back 200 years, 500 years, 1000 years, 2000 years and 5000 years, and took a representative subject, I think you'd find that the ethics of each time period varied greatly. Even Jesus basically ignored lepers and injured beggars, because the ethics of the day did not lend themselves to helping other people who were not family and who were sick/diseased/injured. Thus, I'd say that the overall ethics of society has changed over time for what we would call "the better".

Second, the Golden Rule may have applied though out human history, but who it was applied to has evolved. Even 200 years ago, it barely applied to women. 100 years ago it barely applied to blacks and asians (in the US). Even today we see/hear of genocides going on that if we had hard wired ethics, instead of learned ethics, would not be happening. Even with a charismatic leader taking over such as with Nazi Germany, it would seem that ethics would stop the majority of people from supporting immoral societal actions, yet many times it doesn't, which to me, also reflects that ethics are a learned behavior in the main.

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Leonardo

I think at some point people are tarred with the same brush, despite their differences.

Almost all established/organized religions are a product of the basic mentality - which is to be saved of something.

I would suggest that religion evolves from a need to abrogate yourself of personal responsibility. It is the 'higher authority' which "proclaims" how the religious should behave, not the religious themselves.

Religion suits people who are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for determining their own behaviour. My opinion would be the "salvation" aspect devolves from that basic need, and is not the actual need itself.

So when someone talks about the pointlessness of religion they are saying that organized humanism is pointless, yet they could be just as humanistic as an individual, with different ideals.

Not at all, because we can establish systems of social organisation where it is the people who communally determine their own behaviour, rather than relying on some hypothetical "divine decree" and believing in some "ultimate, non-human authority". A society where the recognised authority is purely human is not pointless, but desirable. Religion adds nothing to this, but can only detract from it. One can indeed say religion is pointless without generalising that statement to include any form of social organisation.

Edited by Leonardo
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Tiggs

Not to disrespect the rest of your post, but I only wanted to make two additional points.

If you had a time machine and went back 200 years, 500 years, 1000 years, 2000 years and 5000 years, and took a representative subject, I think you'd find that the ethics of each time period varied greatly. Even Jesus basically ignored lepers and injured beggars, because the ethics of the day did not lend themselves to helping other people who were not family and who were sick/diseased/injured. Thus, I'd say that the overall ethics of society has changed over time for what we would call "the better".

Second, the Golden Rule may have applied though out human history, but who it was applied to has evolved. Even 200 years ago, it barely applied to women. 100 years ago it barely applied to blacks and asians (in the US). Even today we see/hear of genocides going on that if we had hard wired ethics, instead of learned ethics, would not be happening. Even with a charismatic leader taking over such as with Nazi Germany, it would seem that ethics would stop the majority of people from supporting immoral societal actions, yet many times it doesn't, which to me, also reflects that ethics are a learned behavior in the main.

And here I was, thinking that Jesus cured the odd leper or ten and healed blind beggars, on occasion, too. I always thought that his willingness to help the untouchables in society was part of his appeal, to be honest.

Anyway.

I believe that we try to make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have available to us.

Sometimes, we don't have all the information we need - but we always know how we feel about a decision, and part of that is based on how we imagine others will feel about us making that decision.

Sometimes, we go on to discover that the information we rely on to make those decisions is incorrect, or biased - and when we realise that - then our ethics change.

There's a saying in computing - Garbage in, Garbage out. If you start with rubbish data, then you're going to get a rubbish result.

So it is with decision making, and deciding what is ethical.

If the information you have been given is that wives should submit to their husbands, then you're naturally going to end up with rape laws that begin:

A male who has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife is guilty of rape if:

- which was how the US legal definition of rape was written, back in the 1960's.

As the information available to people changes, then so will their ethics. In two hundred years time, I highly suspect that everyone living today will be derided as ethical dinosaurs.

In short - I don't believe that our ethics are hard-coded.

I believe that our use of empathy to evaluate the information that we have available to us - in order to derive our ethics - is.

Edited by Tiggs
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DieChecker

And here I was, thinking that Jesus cured the odd leper or ten and healed blind beggars, on occasion, too. I always thought that his willingness to help the untouchables in society was part of his appeal, to be honest.

He didn't go looking for them though. He simply healed those that came to him.

Anyway.

I believe that we try to make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have available to us.

Sometimes, we don't have all the information we need - but we always know how we feel about a decision, and part of that is based on how we imagine others will feel about us making that decision.

Sometimes, we go on to discover that the information we rely on to make those decisions is incorrect, or biased - and when we realise that - then our ethics change.

There's a saying in computing - Garbage in, Garbage out. If you start with rubbish data, then you're going to get a rubbish result.

So it is with decision making, and deciding what is ethical.

If the information you have been given is that wives should submit to their husbands, then you're naturally going to end up with rape laws that begin:

A male who has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife is guilty of rape if:

- which was how the US legal definition of rape was written, back in the 1960's.

As the information available to people changes, then so will their ethics. In two hundred years time, I highly suspect that everyone living today will be derided as ethical dinosaurs.

In short - I don't believe that our ethics are hard-coded.

I believe that our use of empathy to evaluate the information that we have available to us - in order to derive our ethics - is.

Empathy? Yes, I could agree with that. Humans are wired up for empathy. At least most of us. :whistle:

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Starhunter

I would suggest that religion evolves from a need to abrogate yourself of personal responsibility. It is the 'higher authority' which "proclaims" how the religious should behave, not the religious themselves.

Religion suits people who are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for determining their own behaviour. My opinion would be the "salvation" aspect devolves from that basic need, and is not the actual need itself.

Not at all, because we can establish systems of social organisation where it is the people who communally determine their own behaviour, rather than relying on some hypothetical "divine decree" and believing in some "ultimate, non-human authority". A society where the recognised authority is purely human is not pointless, but desirable. Religion adds nothing to this, but can only detract from it. One can indeed say religion is pointless without generalising that statement to include any form of social organisation.

I completely agree with the first half of your post.

And with the your last paragraph, I see religion as an unnecessary overlord of human freedoms and ideals, as well, but I am saying that human nature has weaknesses, which religion and politics capitalize on, and I am saying that religion and politics are humanistic in their origin, in other words they see themselves capable of self rule, and leadership over others.

If human nature was perfect, then of course it would work globally. There would be no need for authority or police.

In which case we agree with the topic.

Unless, even though men are deemed equal, they still have to have organization which involves hierarchy. What are you thoughts on that?

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